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Zulfi Meerza and Aziz Rahman assess the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill’s implications for the SFO

Authors: Azizur Rahman, Zulfi Meerza  22 February 2023

With the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill on its way to becoming law, Zulfi Meerza and Aziz Rahman outlined its possible benefits for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

In a joint article, they explain how the Bill could boost the SFO’s enforcement capabilities and why the agency may welcome it becoming law.

Zulfi and Aziz focus on the possible introduction of an offence of failure to prevent fraud, false accounting or money laundering. They state that the SFO would find a failure to prevent fraud offences particularly useful.

They also believe that the SFO would benefit greatly from the Bill’s proposed reform of the ‘identification doctrine’, so that a corporate would be committing an economic crime if it was committed with the “consent, connivance or neglect of a senior manager”. Any reform to the current identification doctrine would, they argue, “feel like the removal of a troublesome thorn in the side of the SFO’’.

With the SFO also looking set to gain enhanced intelligence-gathering and criminal confiscation and civil recovery powers under the Bill, Zulfi and Aziz conclude by emphasising that the Bill is another reminder that corporates have to ensure their internal compliance procedures and fraud-prevention procedures are fit for purpose.

Their article featured in the Financial Times Adviser.

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Azizur Rahman

Senior Partner

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Aziz Rahman is Senior Partner at Rahman Ravelli and its founder. His ability to coordinate national, international and multi-agency defences has led to success in some of the most significant corporate crime cases of this century and top rankings in international legal guides. He is recognised worldwide as one of the most capable legal experts regarding top-level, high-value commercial and financial disputes.

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Zulfi Meerza

Senior Associate Solicitor

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Zulfi’s in-depth expertise in business crime investigations and serious regulatory matters makes him a logical choice to advise and represent corporates, board members, senior business figures and high net worth individuals throughout the life of a case.

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